NURISTAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan (July 22, 2008) — Commanders, Soldiers and Afghan dignitaries gathered for a transfer-of-authority ceremony, where Task Force Centaur assumed responsibilities from TF King at Forward Operating Base Kalagush, Nuristan province, Afghanistan, July 20.
Task Force King, consisting primarily of paratroopers from the 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, provided combat support for Nangarhar, Nuristan, Kunar and Laghman provinces. They also maintained their own separate area of operation in western Nuristan province.
Lt. Col. Stephen Maranian commanded the task force during their 15-month deployment, where his Soldiers served in many different roles, including traditional field artillerymen, trainers for Afghan National Army artillerymen and mentors for the Afghan Border Police at Torkham Gate near the Pakistan border.
“The paratroopers of the battalion performed phenomenally as a manuever force that has greatly contributed to the significant progress in the competency and tactical capability of the Afghan National Security Forces,” said Maranian. “It is with great pride that Command Sergeants Major Brandenburg and I case our colors today.”
The colors are cased knowing that knowing that the battalion’s efforts were integral to countless engagements across TF Bayonet’s AO, as well as the continued momentum of development in the region, said Maranian.
The incoming task force, TF Centaur, is comprised of Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment and is commanded by Lt. Col. Salvatore Petrovia.
Petrovia thanked the paratroopers of TF King for their efforts to ensure the transition between the task forces went smoothly.
“You truly set the conditions for our success and the Centaurs will continue your tradition of selfless service and unfaltering assistance to the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and its people,” said Petrovia.
The battalion was activated April 19, 2007 and is a part of the newly-formed 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division based out of Fort Hood, Texas.
“I am confident that the training and sacrifices that we have already made will ensure our success and the success of the government and the people of Afghanistan,” said Petrovia. “Always remember our four guiding words throughout Task Force Centaur: security, governance, building and restraint and we will fully accomplish all the duties requested of us by the people of the United States of America.